Last Friday Thai’s were busy celebrating Buddhist Lent (Khao Phansa). This meant Kirsty had a day off from school (YAY) so, during the day we explored the Grand Palace but by evening we were wondering if we could head out and have a couple of drinks. Unfortunately for us, the sale of alcohol was banned over the weekend for Buddhist Lent…
The majority of bars and restaurants that expats frequent see little point in opening when they can’t sell alcohol. In fact sometimes police have to double their efforts in expat area’s of town because they think we all find it impossible to go without a drink for one night.
“For many of these men, 36 hours without a drink and the company of a rented Asian female represents something unacceptable, terrifying even”
We’re not that bad but, if we couldn’t go and get drunk, what could we do?
Well, it turns out, you can go to gigs.
‘The Rock Pub’ had already scheduled a band, Silverstein from Canada, to play on Friday night as part of their South East Asian Tour. I can’t help but feel that it was planned so far in adavnce that no one realised it would fall in one of the few days where the sale of alcohol was illegal in Thailand…
Silverstein are a Band I have not really listened to properly in maybe 5 years but with so few bands passing through, I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to go to our first gig since leaving home 11 months ago.
The rock pub reminds me the place that Kirsty and I met which used to host local bands, it’s that small, which is only a positive in my eyes (as long as you can get a ticket). Entering the room it seemed to lack a bit of atomosphere, music played in the background but everyone seemed to be just waiting around, I guess this is where I would normally head to get a drink and small talk with people, but without the common purpose of forcing our way to the front of the tiny bar it all seemed a bit subdued.
However, once the band took to the stage they received a great reception, who’d have thought they were so popular over here? After all, this was their first time in Thailand! As they got underway it was clear there were some serious fans in the crowd, singing along to every word, fists in the air.
Without our liquid courage we stayed back and enjoyed the show, in my case, just happy to be at a gig again.
Then came the question from the lead singer ‘So you guys really can’t drink tonight? Who’s got the shakes? I was surprised to hear quite a few Thai people say it was fine as they has been on the beer beforehand, fair enough.
I can honestly say I’ve never been to a gig that hasn’t involved alcohol and I mentioned to Kirsty a few times how standing there tapping my foot and bobbing my head just didn’t feel right without a pint in my hand, I don’t drink a lot anymore but this is one night I would have really enjoyed a few beers.
Sitting in a restaurant after the show eating chicken just didn’t feel very ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ Where was the after party? I’m sure for many of the crowd, being locals, it was to some back alley where they knew getting hold of some more drink wouldn’t be an issue…
Have you been to a gig abroad? How did it compare??